Sovereign Preservation: Kept for Jesus
Jude described himself as a slave of Jesus Christ (Jude 1:1), alluding to the ownership of the One who bought him for a price (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23), with His precious blood shed on the Cross (1 Pet 1:19). The Apostle Peter assures the believer that God cares for His beloved elect (1 Pet 5:7), a people chosen by God to be His own possession (1 Pet 2:9). This relationship (owner/slave) is according to God’s purpose and grace in salvation, granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity (2 Tim 1:8–9).
The eternal salvation, by God, of His chosen people is not left to chance or any uncertainty in time. The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19) because He predestined us to adoption, as His sons (Rom 8:28–30), when our names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life in eternity past (Rev 13:8). Or, as the Apostle Paul wrote in accord, “…just as He chose us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4).”
God’s purpose in salvation is to bring glory to Himself, by way of His vessels of mercy (Rom 9:23), who have their position and identity according to His sovereign will (Jn 1:13) and gracious choice (Rom 9:11). It is by His great mercy that He caused us to be born again (1 Pet 1:3), for the purpose of obtaining an inheritance, which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God (Christ is the power of God — 1 Cor 1:24), through faith (faith is a gift of God, granted by God — Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29), for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Pet 1:3–5).
While we receive Christ as our eternal inheritance (Jn 1:12; 1 Pet 1:4), Christ has received from His Father, a body of people, His bride (Eph 5:25), the church (Mt 16:18), the Israel of God (Gal 6:16). In gathering God’s elect from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9), the end goal objective is to present His church holy and blameless before Him (Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col 1:22). The redeemed are being transformed from the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory (Phil 3:20–21), by His own power.
With our entire sanctification (made to be holy) in His care and power, it is our Lord Jesus Christ, who confirms us to the end…blameless (1 Cor 1:8). This power has already been seen in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, with a glorified body (1 Cor 15). The promise of God is to raise our bodies to life, from the dead, on the Day of the Lord (Jn 5:25–29), for this presentation (2 Cor 4:14). We have the promise by way of everlasting covenant that God himself will preserve us so that we will not depart from Him (Jer 32:40).
Paul wrote with confidence, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom (2 Tim 4:18a).” Thus, the promise is God’s, and so is the work. The work of God, to preserve the saint, is called, “sealing.”
Sealing with the Holy Spirit is God’s pledge to each believer that he or she belongs to Christ (2 Cor 1:21–22), who is the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (1 Pet 2:25). Sealed with the Spirit of promise (Eph 1:13), we are kept for Jesus, being sealed for the day of redemption (Eph 4:30). The ark of safe passage in which the believer is held, “in Christ” (Rev 1:9), prevents theft by anyone (Jn 10:26–30). Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:35–39).
It is God who has begun this good work in you, Christian, and His promise is to complete it (Phil 1:6). God Himself will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you (1 Pet 5:10). He will protect you, and He will keep your soul (Ps 121:7–8). God’s calling is irrevocable (Rom 11:29), which is why we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:16–17; 1 Cor 2:2). The Gospel call, heard through preaching, will be made effectual by the Holy Spirit, in every elect soul.
Just as you once lived, oblivious to the deep things of God, Christ was revealed to you, by the grace of God the Spirit (Eph 2:8–9; Titus 3:5). The grateful regenerate also suffer for the sake of the elect, in order for them to know Christ, too (2 Tim 2:10).
Finally, blessed assurance appears as a voluminous doctrine in the Bible. The Apostle John wrote his epistle, 1 John, in order that you may know that you have eternal life (1 Jn 5:13). The grace of faith given to us, for the preserving of the soul (Heb 10:39) — a preservation that will be complete at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5:23) — is for the adopted child of God (Rom 8:15, 23), made to be an heir of God (Rom 8:16–17). When Christ who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory (Col 3:4). Hallelujah! What a sure salvation!
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 27, 2022